Tips & Tricks For Trailering Your Malibu
The Truth to Boating is Malibu’s boating guide to ensure your time on the water is hassle-free, so you have more time wakesurfing and wakeboarding. In part one, Malibu team athlete Brian Grubb shows you everything you need to know for trailering your boat. No matter what size your rig, getting to the lake is a breeze when you follow a few simple guidelines for safety and etiquette. It all starts with your Malibu trailer and these quick tips.
Along with all your watersports equipment, you’ll need an appropriately-sized, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for everyone onboard, plus a throwable. Kids under 13 need a PFD they can wear at all times, so it’s a good idea to get one that’s comfortable. Check your local and state regulations for additional safety requirements.
Hooking up Your Tow Vehicle
If your vehicle has a backup camera you can do this solo, and if not, you’re going to want to get a friend to help out. Make sure you have a 2” ball, as all Malibu trailers except for the M240 use 2” couplers and the right ball is essential for a secure tow attachment. Position the coupler about an inch above the vehicle’s trailer hitch ball so you’ve got enough height for the ball to clear the coupler but not so much that it’s hard to judge when you’re in the right spot. Whether you’re backing up with the vehicle’s reverse camera or having your friend give you signals, remember to take it slow.
Connecting the Trailer
When the ball is directly under the coupler, put the vehicle in park, set the brake and lower the trailer onto the trailer hitch using the tongue jack. Lock the coupler in place on the ball. Secure your safety chains to the vehicle and plug in your trailer’s electronics to the vehicle. Remove the boat’s cover unless it’s specifically a trailering cover (over-the-tower cover). Make sure the trailer’s transom straps are secured to the boat on the lifting eyes on either side of the transom. Remove the chocks or disengage the trailer brake and you’re ready to roll!
Particularly on right-hand turns, you’re going to want to swing much farther out so the trailer doesn’t clip the curb. Wait for your opportunity and pull out only when it’s safe and you can get into the second lane over when making right turns. In most cases that should give you enough room to turn without hitting the curb.
Watch your Blind Spots
It’s always a good idea to drive a little under the speed limit on the highway and no matter what road you’re on, keeping an eye on your blind spots and practicing defensive driving will get you to the lake trouble free.
When you need to reverse, everything will be backwards with a trailer. A trick is to put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel instead of the top. Whatever direction that hand goes, the trailer will go.